Monitoring particulate matter with commodity hardware

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Interested readers can now download the full text of my just-released Ph.D. dissertation, titled Monitoring particulate matter with commodity hardware [15 MB PDF]. Chapters 2 and 3 have previously been published as journal articles. New results obtained with the Shinyei PPD42NS sensor are presented in Chapter 4, “Observing urban plumes”.

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Field calibrations of a low-cost aerosol sensor

Our  paper on the development and evaluation of a PPD42NS-based instrument is now publicly available via the AMT Discussion forum (Article [PDF]Supplement [PDF]). It’s permanently citable in its existing form, though it will technically be in review until March 24. Hope you find the results to be of interest, dear reader.

PPD42NS sensors on a calibration rack

OtterBox + Shinyei PPD42NS

Long hiatus on the blog, but it’s been a busy couple of months. I’ve been doing some rapid prototyping with the Shinyei PPD42NS, pictured above in an OtterBox enclosure with a battery, real-time clock, microSD datalogger, and temperature-humidity sensor. I’m thinking of calling it the Bento, what with all the tasty little sensors inside (and h/t to Lady Ada’s Bento). As you can see, I’m no mechanical engineer. But some folks over in Mech Eng at Berkeley are starting to work with us on enclosures. Nice!

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Using a WiFly to Network Air Quality Sensors

The Roving Networks WiFly RN-XV is a nice little device. For $35 at SparkFun you get a low-power 802.11b module with a real-time clock, analog and GPIO pins, basic DNS and HTTP literacy. It’s a perfectly capable wireless sensor node, just by itself. It even has a nifty UART trigger mode, where incoming serial input will send a basic GET request to your favorite URL with the payload tacked on.

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